Global Fund unblocks Philippine AIDS, malaria aid

GENEVA Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:43pm IST

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GENEVA (Reuters) - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said on Monday it has unblocked four grants to the Philippines that were suspended in September due to concerns about misdirected funds.

In a statement, the Geneva-based health financier said it had put malaria grants worth $31.4 million under the control of the Pilipinas Shell Foundation and $1.9 million in HIV/AIDS grants to the Philippine Department of Health.

"These grants were previously administered by the Tropical Disease Foundation and were suspended by the Global Fund in September 2009 after evidence emerged of unauthorized expenditure," it said.

The Global Fund takes in aid from governments and private donors such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and gives out grants to countries which make proposals on how to confront the three targeted diseases.

It has previously suspended funds to Nigeria and other countries on concerns about mismanagement of grant money.

On Monday it said it has not finalised a deal to transfer one last tranche of aid -- a tuberculosis grant worth up to $95 million -- which had also gone to the Philippine-based Tropical Disease Foundation before the suspension.

"Permanent arrangements for the transfer of this grant to new principal recipients are currently being negotiated," the organisation said.

(Reporting by Laura MacInnis; editing by David Stamp)

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